BASTARD / The Painted Bird: Part 1

The opening section of the trilogy shows the most direct narrative connection to its literary source. Conceived as a visceral, physically demanding and courageous solo for the Slovak dancer Jaro Viňarský (awarded 2013 Bessie for Outstanding Performer for his portrayal of Kosiński’s persecuted outsider/ wanderer in this piece), it draws upon crucial scene of The Painted Bird novel—a bird captured by a human is brilliantly painted and then freed to return to its flock, only to be violently killed by its own kind as a perceived interloper. A forceful performance by the soloist concludes by a group scene with an ensemble of dancers and nonprofessionals drawn from the community where the work is presented, transforming the internal landscape of agony and misrecognition into a collective remembrance.

Bastard earns it emotional extremity — with tenderness and quiet.
Apollinaire Scherr, FINANCIAL TIMES


Almost every artistic choice in this hour-long work feels essential.

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World premiere: KioSK Festival, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Slovakia, July 2010
US Premiere: La MaMa ETC, November 2010, 75 min

Concept/Direction/Choreography: Pavel Zuštiak; Performer: Jaro Viňarský; Original Music and Live Performance: Christian Frederickson; Lighting Design: Joe Levasseur; Scenic & Costume Design: Nick Vaughan, Pavel Zuštiak; Video Design: Manny Palad

Developed and supported during residencies at Stanica Žilina-Záriecie (Slovakia) and Grotowski Institute (Poland). Created with  financial support from Trust for Mutual Understanding, Greenwall Foundation, CEC Artslink, Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, US Embassy in Slovakia, Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, and NF Slovak Telekom. An early research of the work was made possible with the assistance of Movement Research in New York City and dance department at the University of California, Irvine.

Palissimo Company

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